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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0240
Post Date 11/2/2017
Title Mechanical Integration Engineer
City La Serena, Chile

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates several observatory centers (including the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the National Solar Observatory, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the Gemini Observatory) in the United States and Chile under cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation.

Under construction in Chile, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is an 8.4-meter telescope. This large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope will survey half of the sky every few nights in six optical bands with its 3.2 gigapixel camera. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, including probing the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and following the evolution of rapidly changing objects such as exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, and distant Kuiper Belt Objects.

Job Description:

The LSST Telescope and Site Group (T&S) is looking for a Mechanical Integration Engineer. The Mechanical Integration Engineer will perform varied tasks to assist and coordinate activities on the LSST summit site on Cerro Pachón, in Chile, for the assembly, integration and verification (AIV) as subsystems are delivered and integrated into the support building. The Mechanical Integration Engineer will report to the T&S AIV Manager and work closely with the T&S Site Manager. Additional support will be provided to other projects and systems within the LSST to advance the LSST construction effort. This position is located in La Serena, Chile.

Essential Functions:

The Mechanical Integration Engineer has primary responsibility for supporting integration and test activities with coordination of vendor integration activities on the LSST summit. The Mechanical Integration Engineer essential functions include:

  • Support the planned integration activities of the major vendor subsystems
  • Determine and procure mechanical equipment required for assembly and integration
  • Design and procure mechanical systems and equipment required for interfaces
  • Prepare technical reports, drawings, purchase requisitions, fabrication contracts and other forms of work related documentation
  • Provide mechanical engineering analysis, design, fabrication supervision, integration and test support for AIV activities
  • Support the receipt and integration of the Auxiliary Telescope.
  • Support the receipt and integration of the LSST Coating Plant system
  • Support the receipt and integration of the Telescope Mount Assembly system
  • Provide support to other summit facility hardware systems (refrigeration, hydrostatic oil, chiller, electrical, etc.).
  • Comply with applicable safety standards and insure safety of operations in areas under purview, and for correcting and/or reporting unsafe conditions and practices
  • Work effectively with coworkers and others by sharing ideas in a constructive, positive manner; listening to and objectively considering ideas and suggestions from others; keeping commitments; keeping others informed of work progress and issues; addressing problems and issues constructively to find mutually acceptable and practical solutions; and respecting the diversity of the LSST workforce in actions, words, and deeds.
  • Travel to vendor facility to participate in assembly and factory acceptance testing.
  • Provide other duties as directed by AIV manager

Minimum Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in a mechanical engineering related field or a combination of education +10 years related work experience
  • Proficiency in Solidworks
  • Experience in highly-technical or science operations environment
  • Working knowledge of ground-based telescopes highly desired
  • Working knowledge of hydraulic/pneumatic systems, refrigeration/chiller systems, or cranes highly desired


  • Knowledge and proficiency in Spanish and English highly desirable, including preparation of comprehensive engineering documentation, technical reports and drawings, and peer review articles
  • Detail oriented with ability to work with a high volume of documents in a fast-paced environment. Highly organized and focused, the individual prioritizes and plans work activities and uses time efficiently.
  • Problem solving - the individual identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner and gathers and analyzes information skillfully.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work independently with minimal oversight and in a diverse team environment.
  • Excellent judgment, initiative, discretion, and tact necessary to carry out duties, including the ability to keep confidential information within the proper bounds.
  • Ability to cooperate and coordinate with others at all levels in carrying out tasks.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including effective presentation of numerical data and good proofreading expertise.
  • Fluent with the Microsoft Office software package, notably Word, Excel and Exchange.
  • Quality control - the individual demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness and monitors his/her own work to ensure quality.
  • Adaptability - the individual adapts to changes in the work environment, manages competing demands and is able to deal with frequent change, delays or unexpected events.
  • Safety and security - the individual actively promotes and personally observes safety and security procedures, and uses equipment and materials properly.

Please list 3 professional references in your application. Please attach a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and a brief statement of relevant experience (PDF Files preferred) to your application. Please name any attachments with the following format: 17-0240LastnameDocname. Application documents that are not uploaded as part of the application may be sent to

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA does not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our recordkeeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

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